Six of the best: The races that helped Max Verstappen power past his rivals
Max Verstappen; F1’s all-time greats

Six of the best: The races that helped Max Verstappen power past his rivals

Max Verstappen has clinched his third world championship.

The most one-sided Formula One campaign of recent memory was dominated by the Dutch driver.

Here, we look back at six Max Verstappen races which fired him on the road to glory.


Verstappen opened his championship defence with an ominous performance under the floodlights in Sakhir.

He finished 11.9 seconds clear of team-mate Sergio Perez and nearly 40 sec ahead of third-placed Fernando Alonso.

George Russell, 55 sec back in his under-performing Mercedes, summed up the mood in the paddock when he chillingly predicted Verstappen’s Red Bull team would win all 22 races this year.


Verstappen’s sixth victory from the season’s opening eight fixtures saw him match Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 victories.

A day after taking pole position in the wet, Verstappen reigned supreme in the dry at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Even an early collision with a bird could not stop the flying Dutchman as he drew level with Senna to leave only Lewis Hamilton (103), Michael Schumacher (91), Sebastian Vettel (53) and Alain Prost (51) ahead of him in the record books.

“To tie with Ayrton is incredible and I am proud of that but I hope it doesn’t stop here,” he said. “I hope we keep on winning more races.”


Verstappen’s invincible streak continued in the final round before the summer break at Spa-Francorchamps.

The triple world champion started sixth following an engine penalty but he took the lead on lap 17 of 44 before crossing the line 22.3 sec clear of his forlorn Red Bull team-mate Perez.

Hamilton, who finished fourth, 49 sec back, described his rival’s dominance as like “he is having a smoke and a pancake”.


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner hailed “untouchable” Verstappen as the best driver in the world after he overcame a chaotic rain-hit race to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row.

Despite two separate downpours wreaking havoc at the beginning – which left him in 13th place – and conclusion of the 72-lap race in Zandvoort, Verstappen delivered in front of 105,000 expectant fans.

At one stage, Verstappen was lapping his home track four seconds faster than Perez and two seconds quicker than anybody else.

“Max is in a period of his career where he is just simply untouchable,” said Horner. “I don’t think there is any driver on the grid that would be able to achieve what he is doing in that car.”


Verstappen drove his way into the history books by taking his 10th-consecutive victory.

He sat behind Carlos Sainz for 14 of the 51 laps at Monza’s Temple of Speed before fighting his way past the Ferrari pole-sitter at the second chicane.

From there, the commanding Dutchman never looked back to better the mark he shared with Vettel and become the first driver in F1 to reach double figures for straight victories.

However, there were sour grapes over at Mercedes with team principal Toto Wolff calling Verstappen’s remarkable streak “completely irrelevant” and “for Wikipedia”


Verstappen’s historic winning run, and Red Bull’s unbeaten season, came to an end in Singapore. But at the next round in Japan, he hit back in emphatic style.

He topped every practice session in Suzuka, secured pole, and then won at a canter as Red Bull became the first team ever to win the constructors’ championship with six races to spare.

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